Eric Wilson, a Republican digital strategist who has worked on several campaigns, including those for Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) 2016 presidential run and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said many of his clients are taking a wait-and-see approach for their digital advertisement strategies, with many holding out hope that the restrictions will be lifted soon.
But if they carry on much longer, Wilson said campaigns and other political groups will face two options: Either try to get as much free attention as they can or turn to less-efficient channels like display ads and pre-roll video ads.
“It’s important to understand that Facebook and Google decided for a political solution, rather than a technical solution. They wanted to avoid a direct confrontation with President Trump,” Wilson said. “That’s why a lot of people are waiting to see if things change post-inauguration.”
Instead, Wilson said he hopes that the platforms look toward alternatives to outright political advertising bans in the future, such as instituting more consistent pricing policies. For instance, on Facebook, it’s unclear how exactly its algorithms decide to price advertisements, with reports indicating that President Joe Biden was charged more to reach the same number of people as Trump during the campaign.
Wilson said that suggests that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric could be resulting in a cheaper price since that language typically drives engagement with posts.